Brian Wong

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Brian Wong
Brian Wong.jpg
Born (1991-04-14) April 14, 1991 (age 27)
OccupationFounder and former CEO of Kiip[1]

Brian Wong (born April 14, 1991) is a Canadian Internet entrepreneur. In 2010, Wong co-founded Kiip, a mobile app rewards platform that lets brands and companies give real-world rewards for in-game achievements.

Early life and education[edit]

Wong was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia to parents of Hong Kong descent. His father was an accountant and his mother was a nurse.[2][3] He received his high school diploma at the age of 14 after twice skipping two grades at the University Transition Program at UBC.[4] Wong received a bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia at the age of 18.[5] While at university, Wong launched his first company, FollowFormation, which Mashable called "the easiest way to follow the top Twitterers by subject matter or topic."[6][7][8] One of his most recent ventures, Kiip, made him one of the youngest internet entrepreneurs to raise venture capital.[9]

In 2010, Wong worked for the business development of Digg, leading the development and release of the Digg Android Mobile App. Soon after a joining and after a disastrous redesign, Digg had a round of corporate layoffs. Brian was let go after five months, an experience that eventually led to him opening his own business.[10]

Kiip[edit]

Wong, at 19, received the initial inspiration for Kiip on an airplane as he observed his fellow passengers interacting with their iPads.[11][12] He noticed that many passengers were playing games, and felt that the games' advertisements took up screen space without adding any real value.[12] Because he perceived that games are a "holy grail of achievement," Wong wanted to leverage key moments of achievement—such as level ups and high scores—with a targeted, relevant rewards program that enabled brands to reach consumers when they were most engaged.[4][5][13]

In July 2010, Wong teamed with his fellow former Digg employees Courtney Guertin and their mutual friend Amadeus Demarzi to found Kiip.[14] Kipp sends achievement-based rewards like coupons to 100 million consumers monthly,[15] and has raised more than $32 million of venture capital from companies like Relay Ventures, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, True Ventures, Verizon Ventures, Crosslink Capital, and others.[16] Kiip has offices in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tokyo and London.[17] The company has established strategic partnerships with more than 40 major brands, including 1-800-Flowers, Amazon.com, American Apparel, Best Buy, Carl's Jr., Disney, Dr. Pepper, GNC, KY Jelly, Pepsi, Playboy, Popchips, Sephora, Victoria's Secret, Vitamin Water and others.[18][19][20] Kiip is on track to do more than $20 million in revenue in 2017.[21]

Recognition[edit]

In 2010, Wong became one of the youngest company leaders to ever receive funding from a venture capital firm.[10][22] He was also self-made by the time he was 20 years old.[23] He has spoken at several popular conferences, including TEDx and SXSW.[24][25] In addition, Wong and Kiip have been profiled in such global publications as Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Inc. Magazine.[10][18][26][27][28] Wong was on the cover of the September 2014 issue ofEntrepreneur as one of the young millionaires changing the world.[29] Wong was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30/Social/Mobile list in 2011.[30]

Publications[edit]

Wong is author of "The Cheat Code: Going Off Script to Get More, Go Faster, and Shortcut Your Way to Success," which is "aimed at helping young people just starting their careers."[31] It was published in September 2016.[32]

Sexual assault charge[edit]

According to KXAN news in Austin, a Houston woman attending SXSW told Rice University police on March 14, 2016 she met Brian Wong at a private party the night before where she drank half a glass of wine and began to feel disoriented, dizzy and physically impaired. The victim said she did not remember leaving the party and traveling to Wong's hotel room, where she claims he pushed her down and took off her clothes. On July 11, 2018, the woman positively identified Wong as the man who sexually assaulted her in Austin. [33] An arrest warrant was issued on January 9, 2019 for a 27 year old Brian Wong from New York by Travis County with bail set at $30000. [34][35][36]The case number is D-1-DC-19-300030 STATE OF TEXAS VS.WONG,BRIAN [37][38]

On February 22, 2019 an Inc.com story confirmed that Kiip's Wong was the man identified as the sexual assailant. The story also reported that one of the company's investors intended to ask the board for Wong to step down while the sexual assault charge was pending. [39]

Wong's attorney, Sam Bassett, a partner with Austin-based Minton, Bassett, Flores and Carsey P.C., provided Inc. with the following statement: "Brian Wong is innocent. He has fully cooperated with law enforcement and successfully passed a polygraph examination regarding the evening in question. The accuser and Mr. Wong had a prior relationship. She travelled to Austin to visit Mr. Wong and to stay at his hotel. They engaged in consensual sexual activity and spent the night together. This three-year-old accusation is baseless. We look forward to our day in court and Mr. Wong's vindication." [40]Wong, through Bassett, declined to comment.[41]

On March 15, 2019, Bloomberg News reported that Brian Wong was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges of sexual assault pertaining to the March 14, 2016 incident. [42][43]Kiip's Wong met the woman given the pseudonym Samantha Luu in the affidavit on the app Tinder. [44]The woman, a student at Rice University, drove 160 miles from Houston to join Wong at a party at Perry’s Steakhouse, according to an affidavit for his arrest warrant filed in January of this year.[45]She didn’t remember how she got to Wong’s hotel, but she described what happened next: Wong pushing her down to his bed and removing her clothes, as she, barely able to move, asked him to stop. Instead, he raped her, she alleged. Eventually, she was able to kick him off, yelling “rape,” the document alleges. His response was, “How am I raping you?” She passed out and awoke to another attack a few hours afterward, according to her statement to police.[46] Later, she was able to get up, get dressed, and drive back to Houston. Luu reported the assault on March 14, 2016, to Rice University Police, who transferred the case to the Austin Police Department.[47]The investigation was suspended because Luu chose not to continue with it. The case was reopened after Luu got back in touch with Austin police last year, “as she was now in a place where she felt she could participate,” according to the affidavit.[48] Kiip has asked Wong to take a leave of absence to focus on his legal defense, and appointed Chief Revenue Officer Bill Alena as acting chief executive officer.[49]

On March 18, 2019, Brian Wong, who was on an indefinite leave from Kiip since February 26, 2019 has been replaced as CEO by Jason Lapp [50]

On March 20, 2019, Adweek published that according to the Travis County Sheriff’s office, Wong was booked into Travis County Jail on March 15 with his attorney present and released the same day after posting bond, which had previously been set at $30,000. [51]Adweek also made available the 5 page Warrant of Arrest for Brian Wong containing the original affidavit in its report.[52] Brian Wong is scheduled to appear in court on March 29, 2019 [53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://adexchanger.com/mobile/kiip-brings-on-new-chief-in-wake-of-sexual-assault-charges-against-former-ceo-brian-wong/
  2. ^ Brian Wong | Sauder School of Business at UBC, Vancouver, Canada
  3. ^ Entrepreneur Spotlight: Brian Wong | |
  4. ^ a b Rose, Kevin. Foundation 05 // Brian Wong. Foundation. April 2011.
  5. ^ a b Building the World’s First Mobile Rewards Network: Brian Wong, 20-Year-Old Founder of Kiip. Sramana Mitra. April 5, 2012.
  6. ^ Newman, Kira. 20-Year-old Entrepreneur Brian Wong: “Try to change shit up”. TechCocktail. March 13, 2012.
  7. ^ Van Grove, Jennifer. Followformation: Quickly Follow Dozens of Categorized Twitter Users. Mashable. July 14, 2009.
  8. ^ Shaw, Gillian. Entrepreneur at 18: Followformation.com founder Brian Wong Archived July 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. The Vancouver Sun. April 12, 2010.
  9. ^ http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/Alumni/~/media/4B7659214A594A42AC9A7F65CE37B5B8.ashx
  10. ^ a b c McMahan, Ty. Betting Venture Capital On An Unproven 19-Year-Old. Wall Street Journal. August 6, 2010.
  11. ^ Newman, Kira. Brian Wong to Young Entrepreneurs: “Assume no one gives a shit about you”. Tech Cocktail. April 18, 2012.
  12. ^ a b Tsotsi, Alexia. Kiip’s Brian Wong On Taking Risks As Young Entrepreneur. TechCrunch. April 12, 2011.
  13. ^ Kim, Ryan. Kiip Pushes Real Rewards, Not Ads on Mobile Gamers. GigaOM. April 11, 2011.
  14. '^ Tsotsis, Alexia. 19 Year Old Kiip Founder Closes 300K Angel Round For Mobile In-Game Ad Startup. Tech Crunch. October 27, 2010.
  15. ^ "Game On: Lunch with Brian Wong, co-founder of online rewards platform Kiip". BCBusiness. February 27, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  16. ^ Dickey Megan Rose. Kiip, a Mobile Rewards Startup, Raises $12 Million in Series C. TechCrunch. July 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Grant, Rebecca. Kiip raises $11M to reward users for everyday life. VentureBeat. July 17, 2012.
  18. ^ a b Holiday, Ryan. Online Advertisings Greatest Missed Opportunity? Kiip.Me Founder Brian Wong Answers. Forbes. April 25, 2012.
  19. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. Kiip: A Win-Win for App Developers and Advertisers. Entrepreneur. March 9, 2012.
  20. ^ Kim, Ryan. Rewards provider Kiip grabs $11M to go after consumers. GigaOM. July 17, 2012.
  21. ^ "How to find your superpower, according to a 26-year-old CEO and self-made millionaire". CNBC.com. May 16, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  22. '^ Arrington, Michael. True Ventures Invests In 19 Year Old Entrepreneur Brian Wong. Tech Crunch. August 3, 2010.
  23. ^ "26-year-old self-made millionaire: This is the one thing that people don't understand about what it takes to be successful". CNBC Make It. July 10, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  24. ^ "TEDxYouth@Castilleja - BRIAN WONG". Dec 10, 2010. YouTube.
  25. ^ "Brian Wong - Kiip CEO & Founder at SXSW 2012". March 12, 2012. YouTube.
  26. ^ Vega, Tanzina (December 23, 2011). "Using Prizes to Reach Video Game Players on Their Phones". New York Times.
  27. ^ "Brian Wong, founder of Kiip.me". Inc. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  28. ^ Takahashi, Dean. Kiip expands beyond games to rewarding fitness “moments”. Venture Beat. March 22, 2012.
  29. ^ Ankeny, Jason (August 20, 2014). "Young Millionaires: How These Entrepreneurs Under 30 Are Changing the World" (September 2014).
  30. ^ "30 Under 30: Social/Mobile". Forbes. December 19, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "26-year-old CEO shares his No. 1 trick for getting noticed by the world's top companies". CNBC. June 19, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  32. ^ "A 25-year-old CEO shares 9 career secrets every young person should know". CNBC. September 23, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  33. ^ https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/warrant-issued-for-man-accused-of-raping-woman-attending-sxsw/1693971902
  34. ^ https://imgur.com/a/m50Q0CK
  35. ^ https://www.ci.austin.tx.us/police/warrants/warrantresults.cfm
  36. ^ https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/warrant-issued-for-man-accused-of-raping-woman-attending-sxsw/1693971902
  37. ^ https://imgur.com/a/ARK2DUB
  38. ^ https://www.traviscountytx.gov/district-clerk/online-case-information
  39. ^ https://www.inc.com/cameron-albert-deitch/celebrated-young-entrepreneur-accused-2016-sexual-assault-austin-sxsw.html
  40. ^ https://www.inc.com/cameron-albert-deitch/celebrated-young-entrepreneur-accused-2016-sexual-assault-austin-sxsw.html
  41. ^ https://www.inc.com/cameron-albert-deitch/celebrated-young-entrepreneur-accused-2016-sexual-assault-austin-sxsw.html
  42. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/brian-wong-startup-founder-and-leadership-author-indicted-on-sexual-assault-charge
  43. ^ https://imgur.com/a/pXGTgWD
  44. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/brian-wong-startup-founder-and-leadership-author-indicted-on-sexual-assault-charge
  45. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/brian-wong-startup-founder-and-leadership-author-indicted-on-sexual-assault-charge
  46. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/brian-wong-startup-founder-and-leadership-author-indicted-on-sexual-assault-charge
  47. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/brian-wong-startup-founder-and-leadership-author-indicted-on-sexual-assault-charge
  48. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/brian-wong-startup-founder-and-leadership-author-indicted-on-sexual-assault-charge
  49. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/brian-wong-startup-founder-and-leadership-author-indicted-on-sexual-assault-charge
  50. ^ https://adexchanger.com/mobile/kiip-brings-on-new-chief-in-wake-of-sexual-assault-charges-against-former-ceo-brian-wong/
  51. ^ https://www.adweek.com/digital/kiip-replaces-ceo-brian-wong-after-sexual-assault-indictment/
  52. ^ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KQ_ypa7c3MGN2BGHeT7kCS_3lAvkM_uE/view
  53. ^ https://adexchanger.com/mobile/kiip-brings-on-new-chief-in-wake-of-sexual-assault-charges-against-former-ceo-brian-wong/

External links[edit]